Official opening CentRE for Disaster Resilience by H.R.H. Princess Margriet and Dr. Irene Manzella:
We live in a rapidly changing world. The world population increased from 2 billion one hundred years ago to 8 billion now and expecting to reach 10 billion by 2050. Our society also has grown in complexity and it is extremely dependent on fragile utility systems. Energy consumption led to large emissions of green house gasses, leading to global warming, sea level rise and increase of extreme events. All these factors increasingly expose ourselves and our communities to disasters.
Disaster events in the last two decades took more than 1 million lives, affected more than 4 billion people, and caused nearly 3 trillion dollars in losses worldwide. The impact of natural disasters is unevenly distributed over the world, with the majority of the impact occurring in the low and mid-income countries with a dramatic reduction in the economic and social development.
However, there are significant progress in technology, such as the deployment of multiple and highly sophisticated satellite systems, the development of machine learning and big data analysis techniques, enabling us to find new solutions to global challenges. These include climate change, increasing disaster impacts and claim for sufficient and secure food, water, energy, health, land and housing.
The Faculty for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) was founded in 1950 with the core mission and ambition to teach and facilitate the effective use of geo-information and earth observation knowledge, particularly in the field of hazard, risk, and resilience.
Together with our partners, the Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR) will focus on a synergetic and common effort to increase the well-being and the global sustainable growth by significantly decreasing disaster risk.
We will do this through fundamental, interdisciplinary and applied research, dissemination, education and training, (international) cooperation, and advisory services.